France as Europe’s defence arm

         Power to France’s elbow

=  “la France comme « bras de defense » de l’Europe”  =

More than a full year after publishing a few notes on the Ukrainian questions (note 1 ) it may be a good time to come briefly back to the topic. The French proposal alluded to in the  title (here above) may offer a good occasion.
What we saw in the past twelve and more months was an abdication of European leaders to American pressure, type “neocon”, pressing for the expansion of NATO’s till even Russian borders, notwithstanding clear promises of the ‘90’s to leave the eastern European countries outside Nato’s reach.
But it was not only American pressure. Many European politicians have in the past year with gusto joined in the meddling in Ukrainian affairs.
Did that meddling serve any common European interest? By no means.
Whenever there is a possibility, we should always keep in mind to have a long-term productive relationship with Russia. On “Voices of Europe” we do not join the pursuit of a  formal union reaching eastwards to the Ural mountains or even to Wladiwostok (an idea  advocated by past French leaders) but should seek decent development of relations with the Russian Federation as also our current friends in Paris (Ivan Blot, “Polemia” and other groups) advocate.
Solzhenitsyn showed us some good reasons, and since then, even under Putin’s governance, the Russian Federation shows a certain commitment to traditional and ethical virtues of which we in Europe often need to be reminded. (note 2  )

Undue European meddling  may also have contributed in pushing  Russia towards China. Is that bad ? Any exclusive bond between Russia and China would not be in our European interest. But some greater proximity between Russia and China may be helpful to bring the world’s Eurasian “Heartland” closer together. That new relationship wouild gain value if it were inclusive of Europe. We in Europe cannot cut ourselves from Russia’s heritage, nor should Russia’s heritage be seen as extraneous to Europe.

What then brings us today to coming back to the topic of Ukraine?                                       The president of France, before leaving Paris to go with Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany on a mission to Kiev and Moscow made an interesting suggestion (note 3) In a press conference before his departure from Paris Francois Hollande said that France ought to be seen and should be assisted by other European nations as a proper “defensive arm for Europe”, which could serve the cause of peace in Eastern Europe connection.
We have pleaded earlier in another connection,  namely with respect to Africa, for more support to France in its very good action in North Africa (operation “SERVAL” and others) trying to keep centers of islamic aggression separated from each other around the Sahara  region, so that the small nations there may have a chance to survive in freedom.
Bernard Lugan (note 4 ) has shown the benefits of France’s action which was the more welcome after its earlier disastrous moves against Khaddafi, leading to his brutal death, and to the breakup of Libya.
Lybia was and remains important for Europe as a kind of “Lampedusa” , namely a “Lampedusa” situated not in Europe but in Africa which could  offer refuge, growth and labor opportunities for people coming s from other parts of Africa and even from the Near East. (note )
The idea now injected by President Francois Hollande that the defense capacities of France should get a closer evaluation from other European countries, and particularly from Germany is shared by many Europeans.
Monsieur Hollande for this moment refrains still from expressing himself on the question how an increased European for a French military role support would be construed, with or without linkages to the European Union or to NATO. An answer to such questions may not be needed immediately. Both organizations, NATO and the EU have by their conduct in Ukraine to some extent forfeited their right to speak, but they should soon come back if they can formulate useful proposals acceptable to the congregation of European sovereign nations.
At this moment it would be more fit for national leaders in the whole of Europe (which includes Russia) to speak out for giving France more recognition and support, be they members of the European union or not. France has right now the best capabilities and geographic reach to undertake important tasks but it will soon need the help of other European nations including those not member of the EU or of NATO. Russia, for one, is in the latter category.

With a smile we might add:    “How is that for an “encore !”, addressed as a thank-you note to the French President for launching a useful idea? Support from all European countries, including Russia, for France in its military tasks in Africa and in eastern Europe might, after a disturbing year, help us in many fields, including getting us out of the Ukrainian rut.

Anton Smitsendonk,

Paris- Beijing  11 febr 2015

—————————————————- –

Note 1=  Our earlier notes on Ukraine  were of a rather formal nature, namely fully centered on the need  that whatever we do to help the Ukraine, we never should give Ukrainians any promise or half promise of membership in the European Union. Expansion of the Union in the belief that strength is in volume and numbers is a great error.Volume means nothing if it leads to less internal cohesion. In that respect an Ukrainian request for membership would be in the same category as the Turkish candidature .We should in both cases resist entrance to the European Union, even if between the two cases  our reasons for declining the request may be in part similar and in other parts different. On the Turkish question we have the good fortune that Erdogan’s extravagant regime makes our position today much more easy. Yet at some point we must have an orderly exit from the present useless adhesion negotiations. For the Ukraine we would be immoral giving Ukrainians false hope. False hopes have in the past led to tragedies, as Armenians and other populations  may well recall.

Note 2: Russian foundations upholding true human rights raise regularly in the European Council’s Court on Human Rights in Strasburg solid criticisms against some of the Court’s jurisprudence .They have sound ideas on family values, and bioethical questions which in Europe tend to be forgotten. On the website of Metamag 06/02.2015 « UKRAINE : L’EUROPE ENFIN AU PREMIER PLAN . Quand François Hollande suggère que la France devienne le bras armé de l’Europe (by Yves Boyer Fondation pour la recherche stratégique (FRS)

Note 3 On the website of Metamag 06/02.2015 « UKRAINE : L’EUROPE ENFIN AU PREMIER PLAN . Quand François Hollande suggère que la France devienne le bras armé de l’Europe (by Yves Boyer Fondation pour la recherche stratégique (FRS)
NOTE 4 See on this website the earlier article on “Lampedusa” and the visit made by Pope Francis to that island as well as his continued reference to the Lampedusa situation. In the article we applaud the Pope’s “revisiting” of the island and we express the hope that apart from appeals for mercy and compassion and admittance of ever more refugees, more adequate and deeper solutions may be asked from the laity cognizant of geopolitical realities. As we dare to formulate : “Bishops invite laity to the Gospel. = = =Laity will invite bishops to geo-politics”

NOTE 4 See on this website the earlier article on “Lampedusa” and the visit made by Pope Francis to that island as well as his continued reference to the Lampedusa situation. In the article we applaud the Pope’s “revisiting” of the island and we express the hope that together with appeals for mercy and compassion and admittance of ever more refugees, more adequate and deeper solutions may be asked from the laity expert in  geopolitics. As we dared to formulate : “Bishops invite laity to the Gospel. = = =Laity will invite bishops to geo-politics”   The two groups must work more together, facing the realities of the world.

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About dutasia

Former Ambassador of the Netherlands, presently National Commissioner for Thailand and for Indonesia in the ICC, the International Chamber of Commerce, the World Business Organization. Chairman of China Carbon Forum in Beijing, China.
This entry was posted in Africa, China, democracy, diplomacy, EUROPE, Europe's relations with other continents, EUROPEAN UNION, European Union enlargement, European Union Neighborhood, France, immigration, Immigration into Europe, Turkey's campaign for EU accession, USA and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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